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Waking up between 2-4am? It's super common but NOT necessary

Here are some reason’s you’re waking up between 2-4am

Blood Sugar Dysregulation:

Blood sugar instability can lead to decreases in blood sugar levels during sleep. This drop can trigger a surge in cortisol and other adrenal hormones, potentially disrupting your sleep by waking you up. This can be mistaken for a menopausal hot flash because you wake up because you’re suddenly hot. This will be the biggest one. Remember this is a puzzle of many parts not just one thing. Stress will be the driver of blood sugar dysregulation.


Cortisol is secreted during times of stress. It’s normal to experience stress in life and you can build your resilience to stress, however chronic stress means cortisol is constantly elevated and can cause nighttime wake ups. I have experienced this. Let’s say it’s not related to menopause and a heat wave wakes you up in the middle of the night. This is because your liver wither didn’t store glycogen, or it needs a kick in the pants to release it. This is the heat wave. Guess what? Same reason why you have a heat wave during peri or menopause. Mismanaged stress. Notice next time you have a stressful day how you eat. Then notice if you have trouble sleeping and have a heat wave or hot flash. You may have a sluggish liver.

A Sluggish Liver:

Did you know your liver performs over 500 functions for your hormones? When your liver is sluggish it has trouble storing glycogen to keep you going during longer periods of fasting (sleep). Stress hormones rise and you wake up. You will usually be woken up by the body by making you hot. If your liver is sluggish this most likely means your digestion is also sluggish. This means you are also not absorbing nutrients.

Mineral Imbalances:

Minerals like sodium and magnesium are depleted during times of stress. Magnesium helps activate mechanisms in the brain that quiet the nervous system. It supports the function of GABA (gamm-amniobutyric acid), a neurotransmitter that promotes relaxation and is essential for sleep.

So many women I work with wake up at 2am or struggle to sleep. I was beginning to experience similar issues. I was becoming exhausted, and it was frustrating. There are some great mineral supplements you can choose from and this can make it overwhelming. Touchstone has a great option and I really love this one

You can check it and no obligation to buy. I love this company and it's high quality. They also have a digestive detox to help the gut biome that gets eaten up by stress.

The two biggest things that affect my sleep now are:

1. If I don’t eat enough during the day and

2. Emotional stress or being out of alignment (physical stress)

Of course, if you have babies, they are going to wake you up for a while, this can’t be helped. This is why self-care with food and lifting weights is so important. Pets will wake you from time to time as well. I like my pets in my room and most of the time we all sleep through the night. Everyone is different here so that’s up to you. You may need to kick them out to see how that goes.

For everyone else you should be sleeping through the night and there are things you can do to improve your sleep.

Your liver has a lot of jobs (over 500) and one of them is helping maintain blood sugar levels. A sluggish liver is from sluggish and inconsistent digestion which then leads to a sluggish thyroid. The liver provides the thyroid with ~80% of T3. This is the active form for the thyroid.

If you find that you’re constantly waking up at night, it’s usually on overburdened liver and/or high cortisol.

Things that can burden the liver include: booze (no shit, right?), endocrine disruptors like perfumes, Febreze, chemicals in body creams, makeup, fake tan, face creams, etc.

Your liver needs to be healthy to store enough glucose to keep you going during the night. This is a period of fasting.

Chronic stress and elevated cortisol can also affect liver function and impair blood sugar regulation –waking you up at night. Plus, when you are stressed, you burn through magnesium and sodium. Of course, you need to look at reducing chronic stress but also work on building your body’s ability to handle stress.

Here are 10 things you can do to help improve sleep.

1.      Eat adequate calories throughout the day starting with a decent breakfast that contains 30+grams of protein balanced with carbs and fat. Careful ladies! You love to overdo the fat and then wonder why the scale isn’t changing. Protein is more complex to digest so 25% of those calories get shuffled off to digestion, so you are already creating a deficit of calories. Fat is only 2-3% and carb about the same. I’m talking animal protein and not the protein found in plants. The amount of food that you would have to consume is outrageous to meet the required amount and not even close to satiation. If you are a vegan or a vegetarian and you are considering putting animal protein back in your diet. You must go SLOW!!! Your body needs to make and build up the enzymes to digest. Does not happen overnight. This could conceivably take months.

2.      Get sunlight first thing in the morning and throughout the day. This helps regulate your body’s sleep-wake cycles by synchronizing your circadian rhythms. The natural sunlight enhances alertness, and sleep quality.

3.      Get more active and aim for 8K-15K+ of daily steps and lift weights. Just get a cheap watch that tracks the steps so you can learn what that is for the body. Mine only cost $30. I mainly got it for running but soon realized I wasn’t getting what I needed. I wore it for a while after the race. Now I do. I disliked wearing it because of the EMF’s. Regular physical activity improves sleep quality by promoting faster sleep onset, deeper sleep stages and reducing insomnia symptoms, through stress relief. Exercising, particularly outdoors, helps synchronize your circadian rhythm and post-exercise drop in body temperature can signal it’s time to sleep. Things you can’t do without adequate muscle and why strength training is so important are: be able to sustain weight loss; be metabolically optimized; heal well; be hormonally optimized; have optimal immune function; have the right brain function (no brain fog).

4.      Reduce exposure to blue light at night. Get off screens and social media late at night. Amber tinted glasses are best. You can get these most places. 

5.      Experiment with a small bedtime snack (this may or may not work for you, the most important thing is to get adequate calories in during the day). This is why a glass of milk is great! There are raw options here in Colorado.

6.    Don’t undereat during the day or skip meals and then eat a huge meal or binge at night. A big meal requires more energy for digestion, meaning your body is working hard when it should be winding down. If you are doing this, you are most likely under some high stress and not managing it well.

7.      Reduce your exposure to toxins (perfumes, skin care, face creams, fake tan, etc.) to reduce your liver’s burden. Look at more natural options for skincare. This is hard for me to recommend things. I haven’t worn makeup since I was 19. My sunscreen and lotion are homemade, and I use essential oils. I make my own soap. This didn’t happen all at once. It happened slowly. Me making soap is a new thing.

8.      Get adequate salt. A good sea salt to salt meals to taste and to put a pinch of sea salt in your water. A good high quality sea salt has so many minerals in it. The sea salt helps you from peeing all the time and helps with hydration. If you’re using plain water, it’s likely you’re diluting your electrolyte balance and still not getting hydrated. A pinch of sea salt is a game changer. Sodium lowers stress hormones that can rise during sleep including serotonin, adrenaline, cortisol, and aldosterone. A magnesium supplement is helpful. There are many types of magnesium, and they help with different things.

9.      Red Light Therapy (it’s just a chicken light). Try using red light before bed for about 10-15 minutes. Red light activates a key enzyme, cytochrome oxidase, needed for energy production. I have not used them yet. Not everyone needs them. With summer just get outside. This will be more applicable in the winter.

10. Journaling or writing (brain dumping) plus 5 minutes of breath work before bed really helps to calm the brain, so it doesn’t wake you up in the middle of the night. I have stumbled onto a very new thing around Biological Conflict. It’s very cool. An innovative way to look at how conflict in our lives creates disease. I just recently journaled around an issue that is connected to thyroid slowing down. I journaled around this because we will know what it is we need to release as soon as we see the connection. I slept better and I woke up with more energy and significantly less neck pain. More later. Needs to be a different blog.

As we enter this next phase of our lives I feel a lot of unresolved conflict comes back to the forefront to be dealt with. This can be quite a daunting task. People can certainly act out, go into severe depression, and so on.

Ask yourself this: Why can people train for years to run just 9 seconds, but women give up when they haven’t fixed years of dysfunction and achieved their weight loss and body composition goals in just 12 weeks?

There is more to it than just the 12 weeks. It's not having discipline. It's not having will power (btw will power never works). Issues that used to serve us that no longer serve us are coming up to be worked on so they can now be stepping stones instead of self-sabotaging behavors. This is not easy task. Stuff comes up. People have spent most of their lives doing for theit children. Now in your 50's the kids are no longer your distraction. It's time to face the feelings of unworthiness and underserving.

You are worthy and you are deserving. I can help you with the obstacles and make them stepping stones to success. I will teach you the tools that are for a lifetime. I have practiced them for over 30 years when obstacles come in. The last four years we all experienced a whale of an obstacle, turned the old self behavors into stepping stones and now for the recovery before the next wave. I can help you prepare for this and to get you through it.

I have Team Training at Ritual Strength Gym before the gym opens. This way we have the gym to ourselves. Whether you are entering perimenopause or in it or want to prepare your body if you're in your 30's. This is a great opportunity to get stronger and become a community of strong women or men that are self sufficient well into your 90's

You would rather stay home. I've got you! I have online options for strength training and or yoga

We are in a world now that does not require you to leave your house to reap the benefit of a highly qualified coach and trainer.

You would like me to come to your house? Yup, I can do that too if you live in Colorado. One-on-One Training/Coaching gets you personalized attention for strength training or lifestyle coaching. Depending on where you live would depend on travel for the cost. You can get the basic breakdown. Lifestyle coaching is the same price but that can be mostly done via zoom.

Are you ready to take on the those obstacles and turn them into stepping stones?

If you are, reach out and lets have a chat.

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